Steven Bochco, who co-created and helped guide NBC's hit "Hill Street Blues" to 4 1/2 seasons and 25 Emmy awards, said Wednesday that he's leaving the series soon because "I was invited to leave." He wouldn't say who asked him to quit the program.
"You'll have to ask them about that," he said, referring to executives at MTM Enterprises Inc., which makes the acclaimed police series. NBC referred all queries to MTM, which had no immediate comment.
Bochco, 41, the program's executive producer, said he didn't know who would succeed him. But he described his unexpected departure from both MTM and "Hill Street Blues"--he will leave at the end of the show's current season--as amicable and without any ill will.
"What really is important . . . is that the seven years I've been here (at MTM) have been the most remarkably productive years in my life," he said, adding that he still respects and considers as his friend MTM President Arthur Price.
The producer-writer, who co-created "Blues" with Michael Kozoll, said he wasn't certain about his future plans, although "I have some projects with NBC." He declined to discuss them. He said he will stay with the series--which premiered in mid-January, 1981--until the completion of its last two episodes for this season.
Work on those episodes was halted because of the two-week strike of the Writers Guild of America. The walkout ended Tuesday after nearly 72% of the West Coast guild voted to approve a new three-year contract with film and television producers.
Although he "hadn't planned on leaving," Bochco said, "I'm not angry at anyone." While he wasn't leaving on a sour note, he added, "I don't want to stay on a sour note."